On Tuesday evening (October 4), family, friends, and members of the community gathered at Victory Square to mourn the loss of Canada's missing and murdered indigenous women.
Hosted and organized by Jerilynn Webster and Lorelei Williams, the vigil drew close to 100 people, and grew in size as the event went on.
Many held candles, while relatives of the deceased wore red ribbons on their arms. Glen C. Williams, an elder in the community, provided tobacco for smudging.
Posters with the names and photographs of missing and murdered indigenous women were dispersed throughout the square and the crowd. Family members of some of these women spoke, telling stories of their vibrant daughters, sisters, mothers and aunties, and passionately addressing the federal government's lack of action on conducting a full-blown inquiry into the issue.
Musqueam hip hop artist Christie Lee Charles opened the evening with a powerful address:
"We are gathered here tonight for the strong women that have gone before us. We are in the presence of the strong women that are standing with us this evening. It’s very important when we’re doing this work and we’re sharing our words and our songs, that we remember our strength as women, and the work that we are actually doing.…Always protect your woman power. That is one thing they didn’t take away from us in residential schools. They did not kill the Indian in us, and they definitely did not take away our woman power.”